The Cork Board

Didn’t Sir Mick do well………


Many of the readers to my blog are creative people of one sort or another. People who have something to say, play or design and are finding the wherewithal to make their own statement with it. The chances are, though, that it’s not their creative output that is feeding them and that the bread on the table arrives by more traditional means. I take my hat off to anyone to whom that doesn’t apply.

Some time ago I heard Mick Jagger being interviewed about the Stones’ longevity and the rewards of phenomenal wealth. Sir Mick was quite pragmatic. He accepted that for centuries artist(e)s of any sort rarely earned much money for their work but he’d been lucky to have worked in what he described as a “golden period of 30 years or so” when musicians like him got paid and paid very well.

He thought the golden days were declining because so much music today is available freely. The consequence for the musician being that earning a living from their trade is going to get tougher, and revert to pre-60’s social and reward norms.

He has a point. Artists through the ages have paid for food and drink with examples of their work. A straight trade in some cases. Didn’t Picasso once pay his restaurant “slate” with a few sketches?

Sleeping Woman….. Picasso

Today, creatives live in a golden age of technology where the WWW offers the opportunity for exposure, for market, even fame, but also the opportunity for plagiarism without recognition or payment. And that’s the dilemma, how do you balance the opportunity of the shop window without having someone steal your work ?


I have only two tracks on my Soundcloud site – both of them not the best recording technique you’ll ever hear. When “Mellow Man” was downloaded by someone I was immediately surprised, pleased, and then just as quickly, worried. What would I do if someone pinched something from the song that was identifiably mine ? How could I prove anything and claim my right to the work? This goes for any original work we produce and post on the web.

I shot to fame (!) and was Freshly Pressed with “Another sandwich related injury” . It has been read, or hit, 9400 times. About 6 months after being FP’d with this we were driving along listening to a comedian on BBC Radio 4 when, in the middle of his routine, he worked in the phrase …another sandwich related injury… and got a laugh.

I jokingly shouted at the radio demanding my royalty cheque but it did make me think. What can I do if someone adapts it for a sketch or something? Does copyright protect us on the Webster ?

I have to admit, I don’t know. I have to do some serious investigation if I find myself in the position of having my work plagiarised. I suspect it’s a complex issue.

The blog, The Trichodist, is the home of artists for an ethical Internet. They keep an eye on such developments in the copyright world and lobby to ensure change in favour of just reward for creative people. I detect that there’s a passionate debate. We might not all be able to contribute to that debate but we should be aware of the issues and the rights we have, and lend our voice when we can. We never know when the fruits of our creativity might find their way into unscrupulous hands.






15 thoughts on “Didn’t Sir Mick do well………”

  1. Very very VERY nice post. You address many issues that serious artists face. How great that your ‘sandwich-related injury’ has caught on, and hopefully most will direct the credit back to you. A responsible person will do his/her homework, though there are many who are clueless. Speak up to be sure you get credit, even if you miss out on a royalty. Buena suerte/good luck! Z

  2. Great information here and much to think about, Al.

    I gave up a while ago, in terms of putting work out there to read for ‘free’ (as you know), but the biggest part of me feels like my time here is so finite, that I’d rather be read a little before I go than never read at all.

    The only time I really worry about posting work online, is when a magazine or contest excludes all previously published (blogged) work. I took down a certain story, then changed its title so the old version wouldn’t come up at all in a search, just so I could enter it in a contest. Gosh I hope I win. I can use both the money and the blurb on my resume. 🙂

  3. It seems also that the work of some people which is promoted as art commands massive amounts of money.

    Peoples of the world, particularly in the civilised northern hemisphere often bask in their cultural heritage without ever asking how the artists who produce such wonders actually survive. More often than not art – real art as opposed to “things” (diamond encrusted skulls and the like) – is regarded as a gift from one to the many.


    1. I agree, RR, it seems cultural heritage is something that evolves and is expected to emerge out of thin air. I know some people who are poor as church mice because they are artists. Some may say that their art isn’t worthy but I don’t believe so. “Things” are fanciful baubles. Time is the arbiter.

  4. Nothing can be more disheartening than to be an artist (writer, musician, artist) and find your work out there making profit for some other person. I find that to be wrong and very unfair. The scribbles I have posted (poetry) in different publications will never garner me a dime, but I also don’t want someone plagiarizeing my words.. they are mine and mine alone..
    Very insightful post (and hey, a belated congrats on the FP..never knew you were a supah-star on WordPress 🙂

      1. I’ve had 7.5 minutes so I’m due a few
        Have a great day over there across the pond!!

  5. Hey Monkey, thanks for the like. I went ahead and read your famous (9400 hits!!!) and quite wonderful sandwich-related-injury post. Such is life . . .

    An interesting development as we age: sometimes, often upon arising, I find that something that’s worked all my life (a knuckle perhaps) simply doesn’t work anymore, or at least it does’t work today. A younger me would have sought medical counsel. Today? meh.

    1. Hello Moe, thanks for dropping by and reading my ramblings. Yeah, as the body ages it seems to have a mind of it’s own (!) and you can’t keep moaning to the Doc, can you ? You’d eventually get invited to the Staff Dance.
      Keep up the good work, and I’ll keep checking back. 🙂

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